While living and working in Edinburgh in 2008 I set out to write one million words in 366 days... but only managed 800,737.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Last night while trawling the internet I discovered...

Dave Wyndorf got fat.

The last time I saw a picture of him, he looked something like this:

I assumed he still looked like this, subsequent to his 2006 overdose, seeing as how his band, Monster Magnet, released a new album in late 2007. I figured I probably seen recent pics on their myspace or something. But no.

In June 2008, he looked like this:

[Not the best shot I know... Not many photos about... More here if you're interested]

[Edit: here's another one:

Positive spin: a lot of people put on weight after kicking drugs. Kicking drugs means no more overdosing. That's a good thing. And heck, the guy turns 52 at the end of the month!

According to a message Wyndorf left on the Monster Magnet message board on 30 June 2008, the "chub" was the result of "3 years of reading and eating chocolate", and he declares he "[b]ack on track now, though! "

The significance of the above before and after shots, beyond the usual women's mag voyeurism, may be lost on non-Monster Magnet fans. But it's thrown me. Wyndorf has always been a leather clad panther. Even with the overdose and the layoff, I didn't expect to see him wearing hoodies and what look like a cross between a mumu and pirate shirt and generally frumping it up, surrounded by a band that, apart from a few more lines around the mouth and one or two tidier haircuts, looks as generic rock'n'roll as it did throughout the nineties and the first half of this decade (and numerous personnel changes).

I did detect a possible change in the tenor of his songwriting on last year's 4-Way Diablo, but I wasn't expecting this. There was too much of that old Monster Magnet swagger. I just can't picture the chubby Wyndorf delivering the line, "I got a cock made out of platinum"
(from 'Wall of Fire').

[But two lines later Wyndorf does exclaim: "I got the world's last piece of chocolate"...]
This is not a personal attack against Wyndorf - this isn't about him personally at all, it's about Wyndorf the image. From the half-gibing declaration on the inlay of MM's first full length album (It's a satanic drug thing, you wouldn't understand), the band has wedded musical substance with chemical, aural entertainment with visual. Without the image of the band, and Wyndorf especially, as rock extremists (well beyond cliche: where sex, drugs and Hawkwind covers are all), the music loses something. Those ah-huhs and aw yeahs are no longer beyond cliche, but sit squarely within its realms. Dave Wyndorf can't be a sad, chubby, and ultimately human character and continue to front the same sort of band.

He's vowed to lose the weight, and he may have already made strides. All I know for sure is this has added another element of intrigue to the shows I will be attending in Eastern Europe next month.

It's also added another slew of possible cliched rock'n'roll deaths for Wyndorf (think Elvis, think Mama Cass). One thing's for certain: when it's all over, it'll be a hell of a biography. I'm officially starting the queue for those who want to write it. (Hopefully the final chapter isn't for another few decades).


Start losing weight said...

well the last night waht did you discovert ? i really want to know really nice music.

blkmagik said...

I saw Dave tonight in Amsterdam with Monster Magnet, and he definitely looks smaller than the pictures here. Not Dave of 2006 and before, but definitely smaller.

D said...

well i have to agree that it somehow lost its sexy filth since i was looking at a Dave in a slobby sweatshirt with a oversized leather jacket with a big balloon belly in Amsterdam 10 august. I as well did not know he gained that much weight and i was a bit blown off my feet when he walked on the stage. There isn't that much left of the sex the band brought to the stage and i do miss that. I miss the tight leather pants and arm muscles and the whole sex and rock act, it is just not the same with a chubby Dave.

Anonymous said...

Check this, homey....

That ain't nothing.


Anonymous said...

I saw Dave recently at a festival and was really taken aback by this chubby fella on stage trying to be sexy. Sad as it sounds, I totally agree that the music just doesn't have the same power as it did when Dave was a muscly "leather clad panther."

Anonymous said...

You guys are a bunch of pathetic shallow dipshits. It's the music that matters not physical appearance. Fat or not Dave is loved by more people, has more money and talent and sleeps with hotter chicks than you idiotic losers.

Tab said...

Sorry Anonymous, but sometimes rock does have a lot to do with image and Dave always knew this. You can't bring the obvious clichés just because you're hurt (it shows) that your hero is being talked about in this unflattering manner. He either has to change the approach or deal with looking off.

I think if he'd lose the leather business it would help him a little bit. Remember he wasn't always like that. Pre-Powertrip MM had more of an alternative rock thing going for them, and I don't mean in the MTV sense of the word. Just dudes who dig 70s pop culture and so on.

I also think it's not JUST the fat. MM had their momentum in the 90s, held on for a few more years into the 21st century, and then it was over. Seeing them ten years after God Says No would still make you think they're has-beens. The old records still sound great and the ideas don't grow old, so that's not a problem. Dave is over 50 years old anyway, he's kind of supposed to look like this. Still I could see him lose the leather biker biz, and frankly some of the typical MM lingo, and he'd be fine. It's not like I can't picture some fat dude doing songs like "Zodiac Lung".

Ronnie Acerra said...

Dave is 59 years old. What will you look like at his age? The music he made is among the best America has ever delivered! Give him a break about him being overweight. That is another thing America gave to the world; see Marlon Brando. Over indulgence.

simms bob said...

Man he almost died...he kicked drugs....he gained weight. Its alot harder for someone his age to lose that kinda weight. People on the web are vicious...people will say what they never would say in their presence. Fat or not he is still much cooler and more talented than you haters